Many of the standard Westpac cards started including this since last
year, I've never seen or had any use for it in Australia though, but
when I was at a main Paris train station last year, I couldn't buy
tickets from any of the ticket machines because my credit card lacked
the "chip" on it. The machine only accepted cards with a "chip", and at
the time I hadn't received my new one yet. Very annoying, as I was
forced to queue up. That's the only time I ever had problems due to
lacking a "chip" on my credit card (they seemed to be much more common
I have had a Westpac Mastercard chip type card for maybe 6 months, and
only ever found one retail outlet with a chip reader during this time.
Westpac will be issuing new cards for some customers this month.
Mastercards will go back to Visa. Only a couple of years ago, I was
pushed from Visa to Mastercard.
There are two new systems the banks have been pushing on us for on line
transactions for possibly 18 months now. (perhaps longer) Google for
Visa's "Verify by Visa" and Mastercard's "Secure Code".
Basically, when you enter your credit card details, you are shunted off
to a new web page that asks for your password. If you can't provide it,
no transaction. If you aren't registered via your card issuer, they will
ask you to register, so you can add this password feature.
As a merchant, we can manually circumnavigate this if requested to do so
by the customer, but this usually entails a phone call from the customer.
It has been a real pain in the butt for merchants, as you may loose the
customer, or have the need to go through the manual steps. Customer is
never warned in advance, and we can't switch it off.
But it's all done for our security.
I have an LCD device I have to keep pressing the button on, when I wish
to access my CBA account, and Westpac has the qwerty keyboard, password
INGdirect, has an ever changing numeric-keypad layout, so that mouse
movements are never constant, and so it goes on.
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